Question
Asked Feb 17, 2020
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The equation below is best described as ___________. ²³⁵₉₂U → ²³⁵₉₃Np + ⁰₋₁e
A) alpha decay.
B) beta decay.
C) gamma emission.
D) positron emission.
 
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Expert Answer

Step 1

Alpha decay is one process that unstable atoms can use to become more stable. During alpha decay, an atom's nucleus sheds two protons and two neutrons, called an alpha particle. This  results in the decrease of mass number (A) by 4 and also, the atomic number (Z) decreases by 2. It can be represented as:

Chemistry homework question answer, step 1, image 1

 

Beta decay (β-decay) is a type of radioactive decay in which a beta particle (fast energetic electron or positron) is emitted from an atomic nucleus.

During beta decay, a neutron is transformed into a proton by the emission of an electron, resulting in the same mass number (A) but the atomic number (Z) increases by 1. It can be represented as:

Chemistry homework question answer, step 1, image 2

 

Gamma decay, type of radioactivity in which some unstable atomic nuclei dissipate excess energy by a spontaneous electromagnetic process. In the most common form of gamma decay, known as gamma emission, gamma rays are radiated.

There is no change in the same mass number (A) or the atomic number (Z). It can be represented as:

Chemistry homework question answer, step 1, image 3

 

Positron emission or beta plus decay (β+ decay) is a type of radioactive decay in which a positron is emitted from an atomic nucleus.

During positron emission, a proton is transformed into a neutron and the excess positive charge is emitted, resulting in the same mass number (A) but the atomic number (Z) decreases by 1. It can be represented as:

Chemistry homework question answer, step 1, image 4

Step 2

Given,

To determine the type of decay for the following equation :

²³⁵₉₂U → ²³⁵₉₃Np + ⁰₋₁e

 

Mass number of U = 235

Atomic number of U = 92

 

Mass number of Np = 235

Atomic number of Np = 93

 

When U u...

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